Do you hear wedding bells? How exciting and congratulations! Dress? Check! Venue? Check! Dog? Che…wait, what? Your big day can be just as fun for your pet too. After all, saying yes means that you and your partner will be combining your lives into one happily ever after…furbaby and all. You may want your dog involved in every aspect of the planning from the Save the Date to the I Dos, or you may just want Fluffy to be in the pictures. Whichever way he or she is going to be involved, getting hitched can go off without a hitch with some simple ideas and preparations.
THE DOG HATES THE NEW HUMAN
You and your fiancé fell madly in love, but your dog hates his new human. Don’t assume everything will fall into place once you get married. Plan ahead. Here are some great tips and tricks for getting your grumpy pooch to acclimate to – and possibly one day “like” – your new mate. One of the most important things to focus on is to make sure Princess knows that her new human is a fun bonus (treats, playtime, etc.) and isn’t just the person that takes you away from her.
WILL YOU MARRY ME?
Corny or cute, having your dog do the proposing with ring in collar is downright adorable. Not only does it create a lasting impression and a fun story to tell, but it also shows your dog that he is an important part of your marriage right from the start. Ideas include:
- Puppy Proposal – yep, you guessed it, you get a puppy AND a ring.It’s pretty hard to top that!And the added benefit is the dog is now your first (and probably best) wedding gift EVER.
- Sign or Tag Proposal – a “Will You Marry Me” sign carefully draped around your dog’s neck or a specially made dog tag (there are a bazillion on Etsy) will do the trick nicely.They also then become treasured memorabilia.
- Collar Proposal – our personal favorite way to go is the ring on collar proposal.Our Eternity Collar fits the bill in that it features intertwined wedding rings that will match perfectly with your very own attached engagement ring!
SAVE THE DATE
Another cute idea on how to incorporate your dog into the planning is to include her in the Save the Date photo. Many couples use signs – and there are hundreds of examples on Pinterest and some good ones here - but we especially liked this clever idea of using t-shirts.
THE BIG DAY
“Here comes the bride, with doggie by her side!” If that sounds like the perfect wedding to you, then you’re in luck! We make several wedding-themed collars to make your dog feel special on your big day. From traditional collars to rosebud rings, your dog will look magnificent walking down the aisle, in pictures, and pawing it up on the dancefloor. Here are some other truly unique ideas for including your pet’s likeness in on the celebration. We really like the pet-inspired signature cocktail sign we found here.
Lastly, if you “do” choose to include your pup in the “I Dos,” then you should know his or her limitations and prepare accordingly. Invite a dog sitter or someone close to your dog who can monitor your pet’s needs throughout their time in attendance: everything from bathroom and water breaks to some quiet downtime. By having someone else responsible for their care throughout the day, you can focus on soaking up every detail of your big day.
Owner Marie and her dog Frankie.
Beautiful pet accessories, holistic dog food, and toys and treats galore, Cosmopawlitan Pet Boutique in Middletown, New Jersey has truly gone to the dogs. Located on NJ-35 in Middletown, Cosmopawlitan welcomes you and your furry friends to shop “high quality and purposeful products, along with a touch of whimsy, glitter, and glam,” says Marie.
Marie Northup, the store President, and Owner opened the store in 2001 when she was having a difficult time finding high-quality products for her then senior Golden Retrievers. It was at that time Marie spotted a specific storefront and declared, “I want that store.” From that point on, Marie took the necessary steps to make her dream a reality and left her job in finance to set out to offer the very best merchandise in the pet business.
Today, the carefully curated store offers not only everything you need for your pup but also cage free grooming services that guarantee a happy and clean dog upon pick up. Besides their full range of services, Marie is also committed to giving back. “We work with Rescue Ridge, a last chance animal shelter in New Jersey where we support events for them throughout the year,” says Marie. “They don’t have their own space, so they take available pups from other shelters and find foster homes for them to help socialize them and make the transition to their forever home successful.”
Lots of Up Country designs to choose from!
Cosmopawlitan also prides itself on their full range display of Up Country’s collars and leashes in an abundance of our fun designs. Their best Up Country seller? “The classic White and Black Polka Dot, and this year the new Heart of Gold design,” says Marie. They also carry Up Country’s Nantucket Slickers for when your pup has to (willingly or unwillingly) brave the rain.
Three very happy customers!
When asked Marie what her favorite part of the pet industry is, her response; “Number one, the dogs. When you’re dealing with pet parents, everyone is so sweet. The minute people come in the door saying “you’re going to think I’m crazy,” but in reality, you can instantly relate and help them solve their pet problems. It's so special when customers come in to share photos and updates when they move away and are in town visiting. It’s never working, it’s just a special place where you open up your store to friends where there is a common ground.”
So if you’re in the area stop by Cosmopawlitan, say hi to Marie, and find “Distinctive Products for Extraordinary Pets.”
Rugby and dad Cam.
If you haven't discovered Rugby's popular Instagram account yet, we're excited to introduce you to this adorable, mini boxer today! Rugby is our featured June “Dog Around Town” ambassador, and we're chatting with his dad Cam, about his favorite things and how is his Instagram account @Rugbytheminiboxer started.
Rugby strikes a pose.
Nine years ago Rugby flew from Minneapolis to Texas where he would touchdown at DFW airport and become the star of his dad Cam's life. Over the past nine years, Rugby has enjoyed running (chasing squirrels) on The Katy Trail in Dallas, socializing with his doggie daycare friends, and never passing up the opportunity to run off leash at the park. “He is very passive and sweet, and like most boxers, he likes to show off his goofy side and is always making us laugh,” says Cam.
Favorite activity? Snuggling!
“Despite being so active outside, at home he's always up to snuggle, and because he was the runt of his litter, he's a big fan of burrowing.” When Rugby isn't resting his eyes and paws, he's showing off his tricks (sit, wait, shake and lay down), but only for a treat! We've been informed that rolling over is still a work in progress.
All of Rugby's adorable antics have been documented on his Instagram account @Rugbytheminiboxer, which was originally created for friends and family. “I decided early on that it would be all about him, and it wasn't long before he had thousands of followers. It's been a lot of fun to make new friends and connect with brands we love like Up Country.”
Rugby displays his Texas pride!
You can find Rugby sporting Up Country designs daily and his sense of style is captured through his growing collection of Up Country collars. “Rugby is usually wearing his Texas Up Country collar and showing off his home state's pride.” Rugby's active lifestyle and love for all things outdoors are no challenge to his durable and washable accessories.
For all things cute, head to Rugby's (AKA The Ruggles) Instagram account @Rugbytheminiboxer. You'll be sure to leave with a smile from this charming wiggle butt! #UpCountryDog
Fact or fiction: All dogs naturally know how to swim. Believe it or not, fiction! While all dogs instinctively can do the “doggy paddle,” not all pups can stay afloat for an extended period of time or even know how to keep themselves above water from the get-go. Also, breeds such as bulldogs can often drown because of their short noses and legs. So, if you don’t want your dog “swimmin’ with the fishes” (in a bad way) here are some tips based on which body of water you’ll be visiting:
Before even attempting to get Max into a pool, gently get his paws wet in the shallow end to see how he responds to water. You may have to repeat this stage a few times before he understands that the big, giant body of water in front of them is actually fun! Coax him in further with a toy or in the safety of your arms (be wary if he freaks though – so it’s important to know your dog’s temperament first) and monitor his swimming ability. You can also get a life jacket with handle, which is a safe backup until he is fully trained, or for him to wear every time if he is a breed that will never be able to master swimming on his own. Once he’s in deep (in a good way) keep checking on him to make sure the chlorine isn’t bothering his sensitive eyes, ears and nose, and hose him off afterwards with clean water. Lastly, don’t let him drink the pool water and keep fresh water available instead. Most importantly, teach your dog how to get out of the pool on his own.
Beach sand gets HOT. Ever see “that guy” walking like a champ…only to see him start booking it to his blanket after a few strides onto the beach? Don’t be “that guy” with your dog. Their paws are tough, but sensitive, so make sure your dog has a cooler spot to stand on too. Make sure you have clean drinking water and sunscreen as dogs can get sunburned too, as well as get melanoma. In fact, one of our employee’s dogs was recently diagnosed with skin cancer. Use a dog safe sunscreen that doesn’t contain zinc oxide - which is toxic to dogs - and apply it to her nose and ears. Don’t let your dog overdo it while you’re at the beach either. Running in the sand is a great workout, but be on the lookout for muscle strain, sharp rocks, coral, and litter on the beach. Other than that, Life’s a Beach, so go for it!
If Gilligan loves a ride in the car, then he’ll probably love a boat ride too! When taking your little skipper out for a three-hour tour, be sure to bring the following with you: life vest, puppy pads/disposal bags, extra towels or outdoor pillow, clean water and bowl, sunscreen, food, and a safety plan in case he accidentally goes overboard - or in the event that you end up on a desert island with Ginger and Mary Ann.
If you decide to take Sadie in the water, ensure there are no motorboats around. She’ll be fixated on fetching the ball you throw and won’t be paying attention to oncoming boat traffic. If playing fetch, throw the toy half of the distance she is able to swim. She may make it out there ok but could struggle to get back. Lake water can harbor bacteria, especially leptospirosis, so limit the amount of drinking your dog does from standing water. Fortunately, there is a leptospirosis vaccine available if you plan to frequently visit lakes with your dog. Ask your veterinarian if this vaccine is a good choice for your level of adventure. Also, as with any water activity, you should gently dry out their ears when the day is done. This is especially important for dogs with long, flappy ears to avoid potential ear infections.
Do you love all of the above? Here’s some nautical accessories to make you and your dog’s life beachy keen:
Get me outta here! Well, spring is finally here, and everyone’s favorite pooches are clamoring for the door. Who can blame them? After being cooped up all winter long, even the heartiest of beasts long for some fresh air…and GRASS! So, here are our Seven Dog Friendly Adventures with helpful resources to get those paws off pause.
1. NATURE TRAILS
If you’re looking for a trail to bring your dog to that won’t garner you glares from non-dog people, then here’s a great list of pet friendly trails by state: https://www.bringfido.com/attraction/trails/region/united_states/ And the cutest part? They use a five-bone rating (vs. stars). If you’d like to narrow down the results to a specific state, simply use the “Search Within Results” bar at the top.
2. PARKS AND BEACHES
Let’s be honest…it’s time for you and Fido to get off the social networks for a while and socialize in person/dog! Dog parks and dog friendly beaches are a wonderful way to connect offline. Make sure you follow the rules though. Here are some tips and tricks to make your day a success: http://bit.ly/2ZuyG0O and here’s a fabulous list of parks and beaches in your state: https://www.bringfido.com/sitemap/attraction/
3. BASEBALL GAMES:
Did you know that Major League Baseball teams actually host DOG FRIENDLY GAMES? Mind blown. What a special treat it would be to enjoy America’s national pastime with your furbaby! So, get your peanuts and Cracker Jacks ready because here’s the schedule so you can play ball! Well, kind of…https://blog.gopetfriendly.com/dog-friendly-baseball-games-2019-schedule/
4. FARMER’S MARKET
Most farmer’s markets are open, airy, delightful venues that are ripe for wandering. After all, most veggies are good for dogs too. While shopping, here’s a list of the fruits and veggies that are good for your pup as well as the ones you should avoid: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/fruits-vegetables-dogs-can-and-cant-eat/
While a dog’s sense of taste isn’t as advanced as human’s, their sense of smell is off the charts! Treat them to a bevy of culinary aromas at a restaurant that caters to their presence and palate: https://www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/photos/best-dog-friendly-restaurants-in-the-country
6. NATIONAL PARKS:
Dogs are patriotic too! Their loyalty has been proven to be unwavering through countless wars, K9 policing, and more. Hence, we’re sure a national park or two is on their bucket list. Treat yourself to the splendor of our nation’s beauty while Fluffy checks out some new sights and smells: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/pets/visit.htm
Is it time to get the heck out of Dodge? Plan an awesome spring getaway with the help of these pet friendly hotels: https://www.expedia.com/g/rg/pet-friendly-hotels Call ahead though to make sure they are truly pet friendly and ask about any upcharges for having your pet, if there’s a limit to how many pets you can bring and their breed, and for a copy of their official pet policy so everyone is on the same newspaper, er…page.
Now you can plan your whole adventure complete with baseball game, nature trail, restaurant, national park, and more with the information above – have fun!